Thunderous skies threatened to rain out tonight’s Dodgers – Pirates match, and the Bucs probably wish they had, as the Big Blue Steamroller just kept bangin’ along on all cylinders on its way to win number 89 for the season.
Five Dodgers: Chris Taylor, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Yasmani Grandal, and starting pitcher Brock Stewart – yes, that Brock Stewart – all picked up RBIs that added up to a crazy eight runs, more than enough to bury the Pirates and seal tonight’s victory.
Unfortunately, Stewart’s first career RBI (with the bases loaded in the 2nd) was his only highlight.
Everything else was pain. Before the game Scott predicted Stewart would go 4 innings and give up 5 runs. He was half right. It turned out Scott gave Stewart too much credit, as Brock only lasted two innings. Good ol’ Scott was spot on in his pessimism, though. When the fire was finally put out, Stewart was credited for five earned runs. Even though we say it every time he pitches, let’s hope this time was really the last start that Brock gets.
Luckily, the Dodgers came out swinging, and scoring right from the first inning tonight, and they kept the pressure on in a wild and wooly game of almost constant scoring. The boys manufactured runs in the first and second innings to give them a 4-0 lead going into the third.
Then the wheels came off for Stewart, who couldn’t get anyone out to begin the third. He gave up a two-run homer to Starling Marte, which tightened the game 4-2. He then gave up two walks and a single, and the skipper had seen enough. Stewart was yanked for newly called up Josh Ravin, who promptly gave up a two-run double to tie the game at four apiece. By innings end, Ravin gave up one more run and the boys in blue were behind 5-4.
No worries, however. The Dodgers small-balled the tying run in the fourth. Then the retook the lead in the sixth, but that came after Adrian Gonzalez led off the inning by picking up his 2,000th career hit with a sharply cracked double deep into the right field corner of PNC Park.
Gonzalez shoved Cody Bellinger off first base when he returned to the team, but he has steadily produced at the plate, and I’m going to be looking for that to continue into the postseason. After six, Dodgers up 6-5.
Speaking of heating up, Yasmani Grandal hit another home run tonight. This one, a two-run shot in the seventh to put the Dodgers up 8-6, and they never looked back.
After that five-run third inning, the Dodgers’ bullpen completely shut down the Bucs. Watson, Cingrani, Fields and Jansen combined to keep the Pirates scoreless over the final six innings. Cingrani was impressive with two scoreless innings, while everyone else threw only one. Watson held Pittsburgh scoreless for his inning, but he’s got a long way to go before I’m convinced he’s any good.
All in all, the bats made noise all night long, and they overcame lousy early-game pitching. It didn’t rain after all, but at the end of the game, the Pirates were all wet.
Here’s one more number for you: Corey Seager is on a hitting streak. Currently at 11 games.
Game three of four tomorrow at 4 p.m. PST. Don’t miss it!